EDUCATION Community Service Program
Theme: "Hunger On College Campuses"
It’s easy to think about the stereotype of a “starving college student” living in a crowded dorm, getting very little sleep and surviving on ramen noodles. Some may consider this a right of passage and an important part of early adulthood. However, student hunger is a very real problem and something we can do something about. I hope you will join me over the next two years in learning about and helping Combat Hunger on Campus!
According to the latest survey, most college students today are considered non-traditional, meaning 73% of college students nationwide do not fit the stereotype of a recent high school graduate supported by their parents.
Food insecurity occurs at both two-year and four-year institutions. 25% of community college students qualified as having very low food security, compared to 20 percent at four-year schools.
Food insecurity makes a direct impact on the student’s education. Consequences may include missing classes, not buying required text books and other supplies, dropping a class altogether, or leaving school for a semester or permanently.
Students experiencing food insecurity often also suffer from housing insecurity, such as difficulty paying the rent, mortgage, or utility bills. According to the same survey, 15% of students also experience some form of homelessness.
As clubwomen, we support our local food banks and many of you may be asking, why don’t college students just utilize community food banks, like many others. Several factors prevent this including, food bank hours conflicting with classes, location, transportation, shame, and fear of being turned away for being a student.
Providing and maintaining food pantries right on college campuses removes many of these barriers and helps get food into the hands of students who need it.
How can we help?
Pennsylvania has numerous higher education institutions including many satellite campuses of large schools, community colleges, technical and trade schools. I encourage you to contact one in your area and ask if you can contribute to an existing food pantry or inquire if you can help start one. Building a working relationship with the staff and students of your local institutions can be very beneficial for all parties involved! For more information contact the College and University Food Bank Alliance at: https://sites.temple.edu/cufba
Epsilon Sigma Omicron:
Epsilon Sigma Omicron is an honorary educational society open to all per-capita dues paying GFWC members. ESO provides clubwomen with a structured reading program that is educational and stimulates a desire for self-improvement. ESO materials are available online at www.gfwc.org/what-we-do/community-service-programs/epsilon-sigma-omicron.
There are several ways to support ESO activities and membership within your club, including:
- Establish reading groups for study and discussion
- Sponsor a book-signing event
- Work with your local library or book store in reading to children events
Hugh O’brian Youth Leadership (HOBY)
Since 1958, more than 425,000 students have begun their leadership journey with HOBY. Annually, more than 10,000 high school students from across the country and around the world participate in HOBY programs. Visit their website at www.hoby.org. Support HOBY by:
- Volunteering at the events
- Providing gifts-in-kind
- Sponsoring students to attend a HOBY program
HOBY is something very near and dear to my heart, as I am a 1998 HOBY alumnus. HOBY changed and impacted my life in many ways; It was through HOBY that I learned about GFWC and what lead me to join federation. I love sharing my HOBY experience, so if you or your club would be interested in learning more please let me know!
Founded in 1958, HOBY’s mission is to inspire and develop our global community of youth and volunteers to a life dedicated to leadership, service, and innovation. For more than five decades, HOBY has been inspiring young people to make a difference and become catalysts for positive change in their home, school, workplace, and community. HOBY also provides adults with opportunities to make a significant impact on the lives of youth by volunteering. More than 4,000 committed HOBY volunteers plan and execute the programs each year. Due to the selfless efforts of volunteers and the contributions of generous donors, nearly 10,000 students participate in HOBY programs annually.
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